A dictionary of words, acronyms and expressions you may come across in the blogs of people in (or close to) the QUILTBAG community.
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Aug 19, 2011
@ 7:02 pm
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Non-Binary (adj.)

Definition

Queers love umbrella terms, because they are flexible and can overlap. Non-binary is another umbrella term and is considered to be under the transgender umbrella. When discussing trans* issues and you want to be clear that you’re including non-binary folk, it’s typed out as “trans*” (note the asterisk). 

"Binary" refers to the western binary gender system of man/woman. People who are non-binary identify, at some point in time, as neither a man nor a woman. It’s possible to identify as a woman, for example, and as genderqueer at the same time. It’s possible to identify as a woman sometimes and as androgyne other times. Identifying as both binary genders is generally referred to as bigender or genderfluid, depending on that individual’s identity. These are both considered non-binary identities. 

Some other non-binary identities are genderqueer, genderfluid, bigender, neutrois, androgyne, two-spirit (this is an identity reserved for the indigenous and goes beyond the western understanding of sex and gender, so it’s best to ask before making assumptions, as always), etc.

Usage

Non-binary is an adjective but is unlike other identity-related terms in that it’s not ever really used an a noun.

Examples:

  • "I’m not sure if there is a term for my gender, but I know it’s non-binary."
  • "This is a space for non-binary folks only, please."

See Also

Genderqueer, Genderfluid, Genderpivot, Androgyne, Neutrois, Agender, Bigender, Two-spirit, Queer, etc.

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